Here’s the thing. My kid has never had severe gastrointestinal issues. I know lots of children with autism suffer digestive and other diet-related and food-allergy related problems and that many have success with the gluten-free, etc. diets. This is not my son. Sure, just like any other child, he suffers his tummy upsets but, I think, on the whole his digestive tract is in good working order (knock on wood). He does not drink carbonated beverages.
My son, as I have freely said on this blog more than one time, is a picky eater. We still have lots of food issues. Actually, since OT started working on those, I’ve noticed more and more that he seems to have this spacial issue with where food is in relation to his mouth. (Of course, my husband has a deceptively similar problem but I just call that sloppy eating.) The kid actually seems to be struggling to understand where the food is in relation to his mouth. Somewhat like there is novocaine around his mouth and lips.
The last thing I’d need at this point is another physiological ailment to contend with.
Now, having said all that, according to multiple reports from semi-reliable sources (ABA and Jessica…) I’m being told he is “belching” up to 100 times per day during school and in therapy. Hmm….. The extra weird thing about this is that he does not do it around me.
Whoa, whoa! Now, I’m not saying it never happens around me, because, yes, it does. But I’d say, in the last week, he’s given me a good, full-on belch, three times. As soon as he does it, I give him the look. You know, “the mom look.” On one occasion, he looked at me and said, “I’m sorry, mommy.” Ah, if only the “look” worked all the time. No such luck.
On the other two occasions, I have been within 10 feet of him. I casually say, “Mommy doesn’t like the burp. It is not nice. Mommy does not want to hear the burp.” This has – surprisingly and actually – worked. He stops.
Now, truthfully, my husband does not belch or burp much. Despite his many other bad habits, he does not have this one. Between the two of us, it’s probably me who is guilty of this habit more. And I do know of a certain, blonde someone, other than me, whom the boy spends significant quantities of time with, who may have – on occasion – let one freely release in his presence at some point in the past, and who denies all responsibility.
I have some trouble and no trouble at all (yes- you read that right- I’m directly and intentionally contradictory) believing this is my kid burping 100 times per day with his therapists and Jessica. The hard-to-believe part is that he barely does this with me at all. The easy part? It’s a repetitive behavior that’s easy to do and my kid loves repetitive behaviors that are easy to do.
So, I’m left thinking – what do I do? It’s not a behavior he does around me. How can I help to stop it? I guess I can’t. I’ll have to leave it to the therapists to figure out why he does it and what to do about it.
They’re in the data taking stage right now. Then, the plan gets formulated and executed. I wonder if it has something to do with my absence and the change to kindergarten, for which he professes his deep love. I don’t know.
Maybe it will fade as we get settled into more of our old routine. We shall see. The dust still has not settled on my return. I guess we’ll just take it one day at a time.